Leadership and management are not synonymous terms. Leader and president of the United States are not synonymous terms although they are used that way. I’ve observed and believed since before the Iowa caucuses that Barack Obama is, above all, a leader.
Leaders capture the heart and soul of others.
Leaders are terrific communicators sharing and explaining goals and direction to inspire others. Leaders understand the history of how we got to where we are today. They observe and listen. They have ideas and listen to the ideas of others without feeling threatened. Leaders empower others who then have a spirit of independence and can work to their full capacity.
People follow leaders voluntarily. Leadership happens at every level of the organization. Leadership is a condition in which energy and resources of people are intentionally focused on common goals in a concerted and productive manner.
Measures of a leader’s greatness focus on the difficulty of the objectives attained, creating and sustaining a productive environment, and the outcomes.
In a community or organization with leaders, things get done.
Visions are conveyed and believed. Goals are met. There’s inspiration and hope, commitment.
Leadership starts with self-confidence, courage, perspective and civility. Humility and integrity are the cornerstones of leadership.
A healthy society has centers of authority and leadership that do not necessarily derive from political or economic power but from cultural and spiritual values.
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian spiritual and political leader (1869-1948), worked for the rights of the depressed and disinherited classes. He had no personal greed for power but cared rather for the welfare of the people, using persuasion instead of violence, never allowing expediency to justify a deviation from the truth.
Nearly anyone can become a leader.
Studies of leaders and leadership identify a daunting array of characteristics and skills. Research makes it clear that no particular personality type or style is a guarantee of leadership success.
President-elect Obama’s acceptance speech had so many hallmarks of leadership and civility. These stood out to me, “I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.”…“And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.” I believe the Obama family wore red and black---to begin that very night to embrace all those who live in the United States.
This is a historic time in which we can all learn a great deal about leadership. My greatest hope is that the qualities of leadership filter into our companies and our organizations because we see it on a national level.
5 CEOs’ best leadership tips
by John McKee, March 27, 2008
Have We Learned Anything About Leadership Development?
The Conference Board Review® Article, May/June 2008
Transcript: Obama's acceptance speech